We having been making the most of our beautiful Indian Summer and soaking up the last warmth of the season before the nights (and the rain…) draw in.
Recently, the whole family spent a glorious day at Crystal Palace Park. We are so lucky to live close to this historic site.
The children were desperate to have an opportunity to wear their new Roco Clothing outfits.
Sprout loves his new little trilby by Paisley of London. He doesn’t want to go anywhere without it.
Crystal Palace Park, is a wonderful location to spend time with the children and is steeped in local history.
Following the great exhibition in 1851, Hyde Park, London; the Victorian pleasure ground and buildings were moved to its current location in Crystal Palace, South East London. The impressive buildings and landscaped gardens were hence known as Crystal Palace Park.
Crystal Palace Park was completed and opened by Queen Victoria in 1854. The palace buildings sadly burnt down in 1936 in a blaze so big that the glow could be seen across 8 counties and 100,000 people turned out to watch the blaze, including Winston Churchill.
Edward Milner, designed the Italian garden, fountains, the great maze and English landscape gardens. Crystal Palace Park has 200 acres of sculpted gardens.
The Italian Terraces and their sculptures survived the fire which destroyed Crystal Palace. Twinkle was fascinated by this headless statue, which is thought to be of Dante.
In the background you can see the Crystal Palace tower, which is a television transmitting station for the London area. The station is the fifth tallest structure in London at 719 feet tall. It stands on the site of the old Aquarium which was destroyed in 1941.
I am not going to lie, we got horribly lost in the maze and I had just about lost my sense of humour as the gravel paths are not buggy friendly, when an old gentleman offered to show us into the middle.
He then sat with the girls and taught them how to make origami boxes, it was a very special moment, the girls were mesmerised by the delicate paper art.
During a scouting rally at Crystal Palace park in 1909 a group of girls approached Robert Baden Powell and demanded a similar movement for girls. As a result in 1910 he subsequently formed the guiding movement for girls which was attended by 6000 girls in the first year. The centre of the Crystal Palace Park maze contains a monument which commemorates, 100 years of girl guiding.
I think this is a wonderful lesson for our children. Sometimes you have to have to courage to stand up for equality and fight for what you believe in. It must of taken those girls a lot of courage to approach Baden Powell that day.
Twinkle is a Rainbow, which is the youngest of the guiding groups from ages 5-7 and is looking forward to joining the Brownies next year. She was very excited to see a Trefoil in the middle of the maze. She thought it was the treasure for finding our way (albeit with help) through the maze.
Before the park opened in 1854, Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins sculpted 33 life size models based on the dinosaur bones that had been discovered up to this date. The dinosaurs are in a poor state of repair, but efforts are being undertaken to repair them, this meant that a lot of the ponds and lakes in which they reside were fenced off but we could still see and enjoy them and the children loved the models.
It wasn’t until 4 years after Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins sculpted this creatures that the first full dinosaur skeleton was discovered in New Jersey.
Ian Ritchie designed the Crystal Palace Concert Platform in 1996. It is known locally as the “Rusty Laptop”. In the 1960’s Crystal Palace Park held the ‘Crystal Palace Garden Party Festivals’ on this spot, featuring the likes of Bob Marley, The Beach Boys, Elton John and even Pink Floyd who were reported to have killed all the fish in the pond which surrounds the concert platform with under water smoke bombs.
The girls taking a rest on the head of one of the dinosaurs sculptures.
Towards the end of the day the girls put on their play clothes and we visited the amazing playground. It is basically a giant sand pit sculpted with stone dinosaur eggs and a rib cage climber.
Then there was just enough time for an ice cream before we caught the train home.
A trip to Crystal palace is a great day out for the family. It is really easy to get to on the train as it is walking distance from either Crystal Place, Penge or Anerley train stations. There is so much room for children to play, or ride their bikes.
There is a lovely cafe, although it can get busy on a sunny day. If you are bringing a child who has just started potty training you may want to bring a travel potty as there isn’t enough toilets in my opinion for the size of the park.
If you love the girls dresses and shoes and Sprouts hat they are sold by Roco Clothing. They have an amazing selection of beautiful occasion wear for children of all ages.
Disclosure – Roco Clothing sent the children a selection of clothing to wear for our outing. The opinions stated in this article are however solely my own.